Motivating Developers

Subject: Motivating Developers
From: Judith Hammeran <judith -at- MACSCH -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 19 Jan 1995 09:42:36 PST

My boss and I would like some advice on motivating development personnel to
provide the necessary information to create documentation.

EXPLANATION: Our company create high-end engineering software for structural
analysis, aeroelastic analysis, etc. Because of the complexities of these
topics, we have always had a developer (or other qualified company expert)
write the book and receive author credit on the cover, which is always a nice
feather in the professional cap. (We provide word processing support and edit
the books for grammar, format, etc.) Our formula has been very sucessful, and
our clients really like our books.

Recently, our company acquired two other companies that develops pre- and
postprocessers for our products. At these companies, the books have
traditionally been written by the documentation staff with very grudging
contributions from development. The documentation personnel at these two
companies are very discouraged by the lack of support and their inability to
get the information they need to create the documentation. They doubt that
anyone on their development staffs would agree to author a book, even for
credit on the title page.

What other incentives/motivators have been used successfully? A cash bonus to
development personnel who contribute to a book has been suggested.

Ideas, please!

Thanks,

Judith Hammeran
The MacNeal-Schwendler Corp.
Los Angeles, CA
judith -dot- hammeran -at- macsch -dot- com


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